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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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The blind rush to green power

Uploaded: Sep 20, 2022
California regulators, legislators and the governor continue to blindly push the state toward zero carbon emissions without any regard for the big picture.
Gov. Newsom and legislators celebrated last week when the incredibly powerful state Air Resources Control board decreed that 18-wheeler trucks powered by fossil fuels can no longer be sold here after 2040. That’s five years later than the ban on gasoline/diesel-powered cars that was enacted in August.
It’s all done in the name of climate change and reducing carbon emissions. What it misses is that California’s emissions are less than a rounding error after the decimal point in the world-wide picture. The governor, like his predecessor, would tout leadership without looking around the world at the economic and human disasters that have been wrought in the same pursuit. Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel shut down their nuclear power and got in bed with Russia for natural gas. Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Germany was burning wood chips to generate electricity.
Now, her successor is being held hostage by Russia because of the natural gas and the pipeline that Merkel approved.
In California, the situation is equally dire—without the prospect of war.
Trucks, whether long-haul or local delivery—keep the consumer-based economy going. Walmart supplies its Bay Area stores from a huge depot in Red Bluff, while Safeway, like many other retailers serves its stores from a sprawling complex in Tracy. The distribution centers, for the most part, are located in counties on the periphery of Bay Area.
It may be possible for an electric truck to have the battery capability to serve from Tracy, but what happens on one of those days when I-580 becomes a parking lot on a cold day that sucks battery power? Portable rechargers to add juice to stalled big rigs?
Throw in the cost. I saw one trucker interviewed and, with a 50% subsidy from us taxpayers, it would still cost him more than $250k for an electric tractor, a cool 50% more than for a diesel cab. Think of all of those trucks. Gasoline and diesel prices have soared because of Biden administration policy—not shortages.
And where are the charging stations that run at 220 volts and are reliable. The pork-laden infrastructure bill passed by Washington D.C. contains lots of money for charging stations, lots more will be required. And, as Dublin Councilman Sean Kumagai said during his debate for the 20th Assembly seat, he lives in a complex without assigned parking so how is he supposed to charge his electric vehicle?
Technology has to improve dramatically for the state to have power once the sun goes down and the wind dies down. Remember the travesty of banning gas-powered cars the same week that the state government encourages owners of electric vehicles not to charge them because of heat-driven power demands.
Add to the mix that PG&E ‘s grid is notably unreliable and the utility is tapping ratepayer dollars to underground high voltage lines to lessen wildfire danger and you’ve got to ask where’s the adult in the room.
Newsom and his allies are jousting at world-wide climate gremlins while there’s no reliable power—green or otherwise—at home.

Local Journalism.
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Comments

Posted by keeknlinda, a resident of Vintage Hills,
on Sep 20, 2022 at 10:18 am

keeknlinda is a registered user.

All across California cities are addressing climate crisis issues by planning for such changes as are being called for 18 years down the road. Not tomorrow, 18 years from now.The Tri-Valley is working at the head of this effort, with all cities having adopted climate plans. Pleasanton in particular is actively working on moving forward with additional solar installations and the placement of a citywide array of EV charging stations.
So active that the Committee on Energy and Environment has been called into additional meetings this month to address the topic. Just because we don't yet have the infrastructure to support such a move doesn't mean we can't have the infrastructure in place when the time comes.
Calls for curtailing EV charging during a highly unusual event should have presented a wake-up call to naysayers that as a nation we need to get off our dinosaur butts and start maximizing and employing technologies already available to ensure employment of forward-thinking methods in order to keep disasters at bay.
My own car is a Volt, I drive less than most, and am fortunate to have the best of both worlds at the moment. While I bemoan the automaker's decision to no longer produce my hybrid, I understand their efforts are geared toward the bigger picture.
As a member of Pleasanton's Energy and Environment Committee, I'm trying to do my fair share toward making the 18-year goals a reality. I might not be here then, but my grand and great-grandchildren will be, and they will need to be able to breathe healthy air, drink clean water and move about freely .The tricky part is convincing bloggers and politicians that business as usual and turning technology into a political football must be a thing of the past.


Posted by Jake Waters, a resident of Birdland,
on Sep 20, 2022 at 5:44 pm

Jake Waters is a registered user.

Always saving the planet, but liberals never look beyond that phrase. Where do you think the process to construct the batteries for your EV comes from? Do you know who mines those minerals and metals to make your batteries for your run around toy car in the Bay Area? Do you realize the huge carbon footprint to produce all that, though you in America can claim no responsibility. Secondly, sorry to destroy your fantasy of green energy, but we will be on fossil fuels, coal, and natural gas come 2035 because having the lights on and air conditioning is much more pleasant- that is unless we realize nuclear power really is the better way to go.

Don't worry, unless your God, you don't have the power to save the plant. But that is the point, liberals feel they are God and can change the climate, gender, and disease.


Posted by Harrison Tamaki, a resident of San Ramon,
on Sep 21, 2022 at 8:19 am

Harrison Tamaki is a registered user.

The environmental damage has already been done and climate change/global warming is not going away despite mankind's efforts to curtail it.


Posted by Longtime Resident, a resident of Amador Valley High School,
on Sep 22, 2022 at 9:45 am

Longtime Resident is a registered user.

@Jake Waters

I too wish nuclear would be looked at again. It's low-carbon and more efficient than other alternative generating methods. The issue more political than a technological one and should be part of the solution until at least fusion becomes viable.

Web Link


Posted by Rich Buckley, a resident of Livermore,
on Sep 22, 2022 at 9:53 am

Rich Buckley is a registered user.

We are being bamboozled on a scale beyond understanding. If we were to take all the lithium of planet Earth and you charged it up into a gigantic lithium battery, it will supply the global energy needs of our planet for less than 22 minutes. But the 22 minutes is only the electric energy needs currently in use now. That's not replacing all the existing fuels already in use including coal and gas and hydroelectric: Web Link
Grow food any place you can.


Posted by Joe V, a resident of Birdland,
on Sep 22, 2022 at 1:33 pm

Joe V is a registered user.

Tim..You need to test drive a Tesla, if you are into sports cars, you will be impressed. All other established vehicle manufacturers, like American brands GM and Ford have seen the light, and they are now playing catch up.
You use the word war possibly making things worse for California to reach its climate change goals, if that is the case, would you want a nuclear power plant near you? I'm sure you are up to date with the invasion of Ukraine, and the dangers presented by the Russian takeover of their nuclear power plant.


Posted by JJ, a resident of Birdland,
on Sep 23, 2022 at 7:45 am

JJ is a registered user.

Production of raw materials like lithium, cobalt and nickel that are essential to (EV) technologies are often ruinous to land, water, wildlife and people. Besides using slave labor. You can not recycle the battery. This has never been about the environment.


Posted by SHale99, a resident of Village High School,
on Sep 25, 2022 at 4:59 pm

SHale99 is a registered user.

I suppose you get more clicks with the silly phrase 'ban ICE vehicles' vs the correct one 'banning new ICE vehicle sales'.

Huh.

AND go nuclear power plants. Lets store the waste in your neighborhood.


Posted by JJ, a resident of Birdland,
on Sep 25, 2022 at 7:21 pm

JJ is a registered user.

The sun is a nuclear reactor.


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